Putting TRAC to Work
  Legal and Scholarly
Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy, Winter Issue

After the Flood: The Legacy of the 'Surge' of Federal Immigration Appeals
By Stacy Caplow

Not only are there fewer cases overall, but also the rate of asylum cases favorably decided on the merits in Immigration Court significantly increased... In September 2010, the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse [TRAC] reported that 21,589 asylum cases were denied in Immigration Court in 2009, a 52.5% denial rate. They project that the denial rate will be even lower in 2010 at 50.1%. ... Another explanation for the slowdown in appeals is the growing backlog of pending cases in Immigration Courts nationwide, resulting in delays of more than a year before there is an order to appeal. Overall, the number of pending, incomplete cases has increased about 20% since the end of FY 2008, and is 82% higher than ten years ago. During the first nine months of 2010, New York State was second only to California in the number of pending cases: 42,256. And Connecticut, whose immigration cases also are appealed to the Second Circuit had 1,432 pending cases. More critically, in New York, the average time for a case to be resolved is 469 days and in Connecticut, 266 days. [citing TRAC research] … Despite a commitment to hiring and some hiring success, the total number of judges increased by only nine over the past five years and there are many unfilled positions. One out of every six positions is vacant. [citing TRAC research] ... The EOIR‘s efforts have received mixed reviews. Some real progress has taken place but also, significant deficiencies remain in achieving some objectives, particularly in hiring new IJs and assuring the quality of performance of newly appointed and existing IJs. [citing TRAC research]

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2011
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